Construction companies need to become ‘digital organisations’
Use of digital technology such as drones will be key to unlocking the industry’s potential
CITB has launched its Digital Leadership Commission, and is investing £1m to give construction leaders the skills to digitalise their businesses. Steve Radley sets out the key digitalisation challenges for the construction industry and details about how businesses can apply for funding.
Digitalisation has huge potential to transform construction – both in its performance and its attractiveness as a career. The industry has been slow to take advantage of it but is now starting to take action. New technologies including AR/VR (augmented/virtual reality), automation, drones, immersive learning, BIM and 3D printing can help construction to become more efficient, productive, profitable and sustainable.
CITB’s extensive research is summarised in two recent reports, Unlocking Construction’s Digital Future: A Skills Plan for Industry and Evolution or Revolution?. We are also working with the Construction Leadership Council on its future industry report.
How to apply
Applying to CITB’s Digital Leadership Commission is a two-part process. First, register your interest by completing the expression of interest form on the CITB website. This will close at 5pm on Tuesday 18 June 2019.
The funding team will review your expression of interest and contact you.
If your idea matches most if not all the criteria for this commission, we will guide you through the application process.
The deadline to submit applications is 2 July 2019.
Visit the CITB website for more information: citb.co.uk
CITB has set up immersive learning summits, funded VR plant simulators and committed £7m to help industry get the skills it needs to modernise through investments in offsite, digital skills and immersive learning.
Construction needs a workforce tooled with the knowledge, skills and experience required to unlock the full potential of digitalisation. To do this we need to demonstrate to potential employees that construction is growing, changing, and becoming more inclusive. However, recruiting, retaining and upskilling a workforce with the most suitable technical skills is not the only issue.
CITB’s extensive research has identified two key challenges for the construction industry:
- A lack of understanding of the business opportunities that digital transformation brings;
- The leadership required to spell out why the investment is needed, identify and adapt digital technology for their business, and to make it happen.
Without digital leadership, construction companies could struggle to keep up with technological advances and to compete with their rivals. The people who will change the face of the industry must be able to unlock the potential that digital transformation brings.
That’s why CITB’s Digital Leadership Commission invites bids from companies for funds to help construction leaders implement digital transformation. This commission is the first of three to help the industry embrace digital change.
In particular we welcome bids from:
- software development companies;
- management consultancies with digital business change expertise;
- leadership think tanks with digital business change expertise;
- federations and trade associations;
- higher education institutions with expertise in working with companies to develop digital leadership skills;
- local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) which have an innovation lead or innovation programme; and
- non-profit organisations with digital innovation programmes.
Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate the business case for digital change in their company, as well as being equipped with the skills and knowledge to implement digital technologies, processes and competencies. CITB also welcomes bids from organisations that wish to partner, but not lead a project.
Steve Radley is strategy and policy director of CITB